Ubuhle Beautiful Beads Collective

Ubuhle (Xhosa for beautiful) was established as a self funded project in 1999 by Ntobephi Ntobela and Bev Gibson. Utilizing traditional skills and honoring a cultural legacy that has been passed down for generations it is emerging as an artist studio achieving remarkable success. Beadwork has for centuries been an integral part of the Xhosa civilization. At Ubuhle this age old technique is being transformed into a contemporary artistic expression. The artists have no formal training in art and most are illiterate. They are encouraged to seek out their own innate creativity, explore their surroundings and connect with nature. Abstract in their appearance and masterful in their construction the beaded panels speak to a new dynamic for the medium.

Global African Landscapes (GAP) that opened at the Museum of Modern Art and Design, (MAD) on Columbus Circle in New York City is currently exhibiting two of Ubuhles artwork. The GAP exhibition will be on tour where the works will be exhibited at numerous museums across The United States.


Ubuhle Beautiful Beads comprises a collective of eight women artists. Ubuhle Beautiful Beads has stunned the art world with its innovative, beaded fine art. What started as a humble project, using traditional skills to create independence and give rural artists hope, has evolved into a dynamic project, creating fine art through individual African artists.

Ubuhle has been awarded prestigious commissions by high profile organisations and art collectors as well as exhibited at top South African and international galleries.